Bye, Neverland: Thoughts on Becoming 18

3 Nov

 NOTE: This was written on November 2, 2015 and posted a day later.          

You could just guess the context in which I’m writing in. It’s Halloween, but what really spooks me is the fact that tomorrow’s the day I officially leave Neverland. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but turning 18 isn’t exactly exciting for me. I always thought age is just a number and that it wouldn’t matter anyway. I wouldn’t wake up tomorrow with a rainbow horn or wings or whatever special attribute that would make people congratulate me at first sight. Nothing’s going to change. But as I look up at the ticking clock above the doorway, I feel kind of anxious. A surge of thoughts boil up in my head, and I have no idea how to put it all out coherently.

I was planning to go out alone on my day though. I wanted to go downtown and take random directions and just get lost in the heart of the city. It doesn’t sound safe though, and the bipolar weather makes the idea less appealing. I guess I’ll be home all day, replying to text messages and facebook wall posts and hopefully, watching my favorite noontime show.

I just can’t believe I’m turning 18 in six hours. I’d be physically, socially, and legally a grown-up. I don’t like the sound of it. The years have gone by like a whirlwind, it seems like only yesterday when I first called up my imaginary phone pal named Jack. It’s so surreal that I was once that girl who stepped from her backyard into a make-believe world where monarch cats rule and a broken bridge hangs low by a magical river. It has been years since I last imagined myself there, but that doesn’t say I grew up.

INDECISIVE AND IRRESPONSIBLE

I’m currently in a stressful phase of my life. I’m at a major turning point of my educational direction (and soon inevitably eventually the rest of my life) and I know my indecisiveness has been a total burden to my family. I only make major decisions a few times, yet I screw up most of them because of my perspective that is definitely the opposite of constant. My dad thinks I’m taking things for granted, that I’m not being serious with stuff this important. Not that he said it out loud, I just have enough common sense to read implications between the lines. In our family, we traditionally celebrate birthdays with simple exclusive dinners at home. I wish I could tell them how much I don’t want to celebrate tomorrow, regardless how simple. I want everyone to ignore the day in exchange for allowing me to enact my decision one more time.

I’ve always been irresponsible – I hate it, and probably a lot of people feel the same, well to my oblivion – and right now I am suffering its terrible consequences. I hope among the magic that age 18 brings is responsibility. I know I’d need it to survive adulthood, or at least, to pave a rather decent life for myself.

WISHLIST: MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY

“I’m starting to understand that making people smile is a way of holding back tears.”

In my 18 years, I have been an introvert. As much as there is nothing wrong with it, I wish I could be that person who makes people smile their worries away. I think I’ve never been this sad before. These past months I’ve been feeling so lonely (I love being alone, but feeling lonely is a completely different story) and misunderstood. It’s one unfortunate thing about me: people don’t understand, and I can’t explain. Nobody understands how sad I am right now, not even my closest friend who I confide in. It’s basically because I fail – miserably – at expressing what I truly feel. My uttered words aren’t as coherent and convincing as the ones I write. Anyway my point here is that I feel so sad right now that I have the urge to make people happy. DO YOU GET IT? I still can’t examine deeply how I came up with it, but I’m starting to understand that making people smile is a way of holding back tears. If you can’t have happiness, give it to someone else. I don’t know how I’d do it though. I’m not exactly a cheery and friendly person. I always get stuck in awkward situations where the best I could do is smile like an idiot and wish Hades would surprise me with an instant trip to the Underworld. I don’t easily make friends because I don’t usually initiate – my approach to people is generally dependent on theirs.

FAITH AND REASON

I admit my faith in God is at its nadir right now. I believe in Him, that’s for forever, but I can’t find it in my emotional and mental state to trust Him wholeheartedly. I just experienced what is probably my greatest failure yet in my life, and I must admit it has blown me and severely damaged my ability to cope up with reality. It didn’t affect me much emotionally though. I have encountered too much emotional instability these past few months that I’ve grown numb. I’d like to think that God has a great reason for everything – every little thing, and I have seen it in someone else’s life. I try to just believe that it will all make sense, but then it would be a lot better if He directly speaks to me that I may know whether I am interpreting His signs right. When I turn 18, I wish my faith in Him will grow stronger and myself wiser that I may be able to see the greater reason behind all things.

PIXIE DUST

I don’t know what else to say, I’m pretty much distracted as I write. I still glance at the window, hoping Peter Pan would show up and take me to Neverland where I’d be forever young and free of grown-up worries. I’m not ready to grow up, not yet. But then again, I think nobody’s ever ready to grow up. People just don’t know how they get there. I don’t recall the day when I officially stopped playing with dolls. I can’t even state the year of that one Sunday when I didn’t bother to scan through the newspaper for my favorite kids’ section. I can’t tell when I kept my beloved stuffed Minnie up a cabinet instead of hugging her to sleep. Soon I’d grow up to be an adult, and I wouldn’t notice it. But as far as calculation and numbers are involved, that phase should start tomorrow. Of course there would be no overnight evolution, and 18 would still be just a number – one that would probably invalidate my passport to Neverland.

But more importantly, I still don’t know who I am – what I want, who I specifically want to be. The world around seems to be running according to a plan where I have no place in. I drown in expectations, options, and endless nostalgia. Oftentimes I feel lost in a maze I wish no young minotaur would inherit. I call up Jack again after about ten years, believing that he’s my guardian angel. He doesn’t answer back, but just tonight, I think I hear him say that all I need is faith, trust, and Pixie dust.

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